Manager Onboarding Guide: Sample Training Outline

Have you ever witnessed the following situation: an employee is promoted into a managerial position, but they aren’t provided the tools and training they need to be successful in the new position. Some organizations will take a competent individual contributor, promote them into a manager position, and expect them to just know how to manage a team. But smart organizations know that new managers need crucial, up-front training to be as productive as possible. A proper Manager Onboarding Program will set your leaders up for success by providing them with the key information they need to be successful from the get-go. 

While it’s important to provide managers the soft-skills training they need to be effective leaders (for example, communication and delegation skills), it’s just as important to train them on the practical skills they need to know in their first days, weeks, and months. By practical skills I refer to information that is company-specific; for example: company policies, programs, tools and processes. 

Below I’ve provided a sample Manager Onboarding Training Outline that focuses on practical, company-specific topics that managers typically need to know when they are onboarded. Use this training outline to guide the next manager onboarding content that you build. Having this type of training content in place will go a long way in arming your organization’s managers with the practical information they need to be productive from the get-go.


  • Introduction
    • Welcome Message from Leadership
    • Our Company’s Management Philosophy
  • Important Contacts
    • Human Resources Team
    • Business Partners
    • Other Key Contacts

Company and Culture

  • Company Structure
    • Overview of the Organizational Structure
    • Overview of Global Entities, Teams and Departments 
    • Types of Employees (Full-time, Part-time, Contractor, etc.
    • Software Used to View Org Chart and Employee Information
  • Our Culture
    • Overview of Our Company Culture
    • Manager’s Role Within the Company Culture
    • Practical Tips to Promote and Build Our Culture
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • Overview of our DEI Program, Vision and Mission
    • Our DEI Goals and Milestones
    • How Managers Can Promote DEI Within Their Team(s)

New Hires

  • How to Recruit a New Hire
    • Manager’s Recruitment Roles and Responsibilities
    • Recruitment Concepts (Headcount, Salary Ranges, etc.)
    • Process for Recruiting a New Hire
    • Software Used for Recruitment
  • How to Conduct an Interview 
    • Overview of Interview Process
    • Interview Roles and Responsibilities
    • How to Prep Your Interview Team 
  • How to Onboard a New Hire
    • Overview of the New Hire Onboarding Experience
    • Software Used for Onboarding New Hires
    • How to Complete Manager Onboarding Activities
      • Choosing a Buddy
      • Scheduling Introductory Meetings
      • Verifying Equipment Needs

Performance Management

  • Performance Management
    • Overview of Performance Management Program and Philosophy
    • Overview of Annual Performance Cycle and Review Process
    • Software Used for Performance Management Activities
  • Create Career Development Plan with Employees
    • Manager’s Role and Responsibilities
    • How to Create Career Development Plans
    • What to Include in a Career Development Plan
    • Software Used for Creating Career Development Plans
  • Set Goals and Objectives With Employees 
    • Managers Roles and Responsibilities Related to Goal Setting
    • Types of Goals and Objectives 
    • When and How to Set Employee Goals
    • Software Used for Objective Setting and Tracking 
  • Have Effective 1:1 Meetings
    • Schedule and Cadence For Employee 1:1 Meetings
    • Topics to Discuss in 1:1 Meetings
    • Software Used for 1:1 Meetings
  • Complete Performance Reviews
    • Manager’s Role and Responsibilities  
    • What to Include in Performance Reviews
    • Software Used for Performance Reviews
  • Reward and Recognize Great Work
    • Overview of Rewards and Recognition Program 
    • Behaviors and Events Managers Should Recognize and Celebrate 
    • Software and Tools Used to Give Rewards

Training & Development 

  • Training & Development
    • Overview of Training and Development Policy
    • Manager’s Role and Responsibilities Related to Training and Development 
    • How to Identify an Employee’s Training Needs 
    • How to Approve Training Requests
    • Software Used for Training Requests and Training Tracking

Company Policies

  • Company Policies
    • Key Policies 
    • Where to Find Policies

Time Off

  • Company Leaves and Holidays
    • Statutory Holidays
    • Types of Leaves 
    • How to Approve Leaves
    • Leave Position Unstaffed vs. Request a Backfill
    • Manage an Employee’s Return from Leave
    • Software Used for Leaves and Holiday Tracking
  • Vacation and Sick Days
    • Vacation Policy
    • Approve Vacation Time
    • Considerations Before Approving Vacation Time
    • Sick Day Policy
    • Approve Sick Days

Finance & Purchasing

  • Approvals Process
    • Approval and Authorization Framework 
    • Manager Approvals & Dollar Amounts
    • Considerations Before Approving Expenses
    • Creating Purchase Orders
    • Approving Expenses
    • Software Used for Approvals and Expenses


  • Compensation Basics 
    • Compensation Framework 
    • Annual Salary Planning Cycle 
    • Salary Adjustments
    • Software Used for Compensation and Salary Tasks


  • Departures
    • Offboarding Process
    • Terminations
    • Resignations

You may find that some of these topics do not apply to your organization, or, that there are additional topics not identified here that you need to include. I’d love to hear from you in the comments about any other topics, subjects or lessons that you think I missed that should be included in a manager’s onboarding training outline.


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